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My husband saw one of these on the internet and just had to have one. Most of the time these wee gadgets he feels are nothing short of miraculous end up very short indeed, and we've had a re fair share of wonder products that go straight to the bin. This time , however, he was right. It happens. Sure even a broken clock is right twice a day - which is far better than his track record :) But this honestly is the best torch I have ever seen, and I ordered myself one within 10 minutes of having seen his. Yes we could share, but he wanted to keep his in the car, and I wanted one for emergencies in the house, such as the last time the power went out.
I ordered mine as a boxed set with the torch, battery,ac charger and car charger from cv-life fulfilled by Amazon. This has a funny two pronged charger, but an adaptor is also included. I paid £10.99, which was the best price I could find. I have seen them going for much less on ebay, but without the charger and in some cases without the battery. I would note that this does not use a standard battery. It is larger than a AA - over 1/2" wide and 2 1/2" long. It is listed as 18650 3.7V. Unless you happen to have one with a charger laying about the house, any savings you make by buying a flashlight without these parts will more than eaten up when you go purchase the battery and charger - and let's face it - a flashlight with no battery isn't any fun.
According the specs this has 1,000 lumens. I'm afraid this means nothing to me, but on full beam this is BRIGHT! My husband says it can easily shine the length of the bonfire field which is longer than a football pitch. This is really handy if you want to let a very black dog off the lead at night. It can easily illuminate a whole room if there is a power cut and you can see for an incredible distance is walking at night. The torches the police use don't hold a candle to this.
This torch has three settings:
Standard - This is just a torch beam but can be adjusted from high to low by opening and closing the aperture.
SOS - which I suppose could be handy if lost out hiking as the beam would be visible in the sky for a considerable distance.
Strobe - an absolutely migraine inducing torture device, but I believe this is meant to be used in an emergency roadside situation. If unable to get the car off the road, I think this would be far more visible than a road flare, alerting oncoming traffic to the hazard.
I primarily use this on low, but the children love the high beams and the strobe as long as they are away from people. They find jumping about in a darkened room with this great fun, but we do have to be very careful using this in built up areas. I believe this could be very dangerous if shone directly into a motorists eyes, so simple safety precautions are in order. I also would not the want the children to direct the beam into a neighbours window. It can be directed at those engaged in criminal activity though, making it possible for them to be picked up clearly on police cameras, and depriving them of the cover of darkness.
These had a very minimal charge when they arrived. It is enough to test it out, but they needed charging fairly soon. Mine has only been charged the once, despite having a lot of use over the last few months. My husband has charged his twice. The manufacturer claims you can get 1.5 hours out of each charge, but mine has had more use than that and is still going and my husband claims to have had far more than 1.5 hours before charging. And when he did charge again, it wasn't all the way dead, he just wanted to make sure it had a good charge when he was expecting to be using it for a long time.
The torch itself is made of a aluminium. It is reasonably lightweight, but it does have a solid feel to it. It has a ridged shape which makes it easy to hold and a wee loop to hang it from your wrist if you wish. The lens is unusual in that it is far thicker than anything I have ever seen. It looks like a huge magnifying glass and Suspect it used to intensify the light.
The biggest drawback to this device in my opinion is the fact that I do not believe it is possible to change the bulb. This uses a 1000 Lumens CREE XM-L T6 LED Zoom Lamp , and to the best of my knowledge you can not buy these separately and if you could there does not seem to be anyway to get at it. I can only assume once this eventually burns out, the whole flashlight will be rubbish. Still, one is apt to need a new battery by then anyway, and at the cost of battery and bulb, you might well be better off just replacing the whole unit.
Another much more minor issue is that the charger can be fiddly on my husband's torch. Mine seems to have no problems, but with his you may have to have it positioned just right for it to charge. Any bump can knock it just loose enough that it will stop charging.
Overall, I think this an excellent product. I love the idea of having charged and ready to go should we ever need an emergency light. It certainly beats being stuck in a dark house with children for hours if the electric goes again. We did have candles, but couldn't find any matches in the dark. The children love it as well, and I love the fact that I don't have to keep buying batteries.